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Island Quizine serves up exceptional service and food

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Liberty Road has its fill of restaurants but legitimate ethnic restaurants are not as easy to come by. So you might want to slow your car down as you approach the 8000 block of Liberty Road—8128 is where you will find a little taste of island cooking at Island Quizine.

Okay, I don't like the spelling of the name but it does make it easy to recognize when you are looking for it. If you go up Liberty Road, in the Millford Mill area, with any frequency, you may have caught a glimpse of the restaurant and thought it was just a carry-out establishment. Well, to my surprise, Island Quizine does not only offer carry-out food but it is divided so that you can sit and be served in their dining area, complete with elegantly adorned dark wood tables and booths. No paper or plastic—it's real plates, silverware, and all the trimmings. That's not always offered in Caribbean establishments so it definitely brings the expectations up a notch for the meal you will be served.

Before talking about the food, I was very impressed with the hospitality. One of the young ladies in the carry-out portion of the restaurant answered my questions, made recommendations and asked me if it was my first time visiting Island Quizine. Before I knew it, she had whipped up a sampler of their curry chicken, jerk chicken, and their signature Cajun Salmon draped with a super-yummy (That's fancy culinary talk!) creamy sauce. All three samplings were delicious, and the curry had me wanting to step up my game. The young lady also gave me a little something to wash everything down—an outstanding blend of ginger and tropical punch. I was liking this place already.

It's good to ask what the server recommends. You get a pure reaction to what some of the favorites are. . . not to mention their personal favorites. Asking can assist in helping you order, but if you are anything like me, you ask and ten minutes later (tick-tock) you finally come up with something completely different from what was recommended. Let's just call it a fact-finding mission, and I do it for you faithful readers! Okay, maybe 25-percent of it is for you, but that's still some consideration! So, on my "fact-finding" mission, I found that some of their most popular dishes are their pastas. The Reggae Pasta, as it is called, is offered in chicken, vegetarian, seafood, and shrimp varieties. It came highly recommended and is supposed to be extremely filling.

Nonetheless, it was not my day for the Reggae Pasta. I was feeling a little more traditional, so I ordered the brown stew chicken. I was not disappointed at all. The meat was tender and delicious, the stew was flavorful, and the rice and peas were not the least bit dry, which is a bit of a pet peeve. If you do not want the rice and peas you can have a side of white rice. It also came with plantains and a little bit of cabbage. I indulged and had the large serving. It was more than enough for two settings; however, I'm on a "Don't ask! Don't tell!" policy when it comes to sharing how long it took to devour my portion.

They really know what they are doing over at Island Quizine. The menu is diverse an stellar. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, book private parties, and cater events. Take a look on their website and find out about their chefs, who have a mixture of classic training, upscale restaurant tenure as well as home-style cooking experience. Island Quizine has two other locations in Pikesville and Woodlawn.

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